Pandaw River Cruises
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PASSENGER FEEDBACK

Feb 2017

ELISSA BAYER, MYANMAR, PAGAN TO MANDALAY SHORT CRUISE, JAN 2017

We have just come back from our first trip to Myanmar and included in our Audley itinerary was the two-day trip from Bagan to near Mandalay. I then found I had downloaded Paul Strachan’s book about Pandaw and I just wanted to say thank you. We had the most wonderful time and even though the operation has now been running for many years, all on board including the guests seemed to experience a wonderful spirit of adventure culminating in us congregating around the upper deck. However, I do want to highlight the efforts of your spectacular crew when we landed at the pottery village.

I am now a Pandaw convert and hope to go on more trips when we can travel with you all again.

Many Thanks
Elissa Bayer

Jan 2017

VALERIE AND STEVE KNOTT, UK, THE IRRAWADDY, DEC 2016

I cannot speak highly enough of the crew on RV Pandaw II; we were totally cosseted every inch of the way. They made our trip exceptional in so many ways. Each day was inspirational, in the way that they had all so carefully thought out things that would please us and Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations were just superb - from the cocktail party on the sandbank to the fireworks at midnight.

All Pandaw crew were first class, but Thu Ya Tun was outstanding. I would be most grateful if you would be able to arrange for him to receive a special mention. He was our waiter and a new member to the Pandaw team. Everyone just loved his happy, cheerful outlook on life, his excellent command of English and the way he looked after us all; remembering our names and pre-empting everything we needed. He was an absolute credit to the Pandaw team. I know that he will be earmarked him for promotion, like our Expedition Manager Leo, he's an exceptional young man.

Valerie and Steve - The Irrawaddy River Cruise

May I take this opportunity to wish them good health, peace of mind and contentment in the year ahead.

Warmest wishes
Valerie and Steve

Mar 2016

JANET & ALAN COLLINGWOOD, THE GOLDEN LAND, MAR 2016

Hi Paul,

We recently took the Golden Land cruise - I think the last one for the year. It was absolutely brilliant. We have been in the tourism industry for over 40 years and know how hard it is deliver great product. Well done. Your staff are fantastically trained and especially impressive with their ability and willingness to react to customer needs as and when required. This is one of the hardest service cultures to build in a team. Well done.

I know there is a lot of competition on the river now but the authenticity of your product and the warmth and professionalism with which it is delivered are great points of difference.

All the best
Janet and Alan Collingwood

Feb 2016

KITTY C, USA, MANDALAY PAGAN PACKET, FEB 2016

The trip was great! Pandaw is an excellent company and I would go on another of their cruises in a heartbeat.

Food was good, crew was attentive, cabins very large and lots of deck area to sit and watch the river. I liked the pace of the day- 7-9 breakfast, 9-11:30ish morning expedition, lunch at 12:30, 3-4:30ish afternoon expedition, cocktails at 6:30, 7:15 briefing, dinner at 7:30 and an evening program at 9pm. Plenty of downtime and together time.

The Kindat Pandaw could hold 36 people and we only had 24 people. 24 for one tour guide was about the maximum size. Any more than that and you wouldn't be able to see or hear.

Nov 2015

COLLETTE & SCOTT STOHLER, USA, BLOGGER ROAMARROO.COM, THE CLASSIC MEKONG, NOV 2015

Read this article on Roamarroo.com.

Oct 2015

LENKA MUELLER, GERMANY, PHNOM PENH TO SAIGON, OCT 2015

Blog in German: http://www.geoplan-reisen.de/informationen/blog/eine-unvergessliche-reise/.

Sep 2015

DOUGLAS SHACHNOW, USA, HALONG BAY & THE RED RIVER, SEP 2015

Hi Tor

We arrived back home

By the way, if you happen to be in touch with Paul Strachan, you may want to mention that the passengers aboard the Angkor Pandaw drank to his good health at our final dinner together on Saturday last.

After I read his book, The Pandaw Story, gaining a full appreciation of all the trials and tribulations that he encounteredwhile developing Pandaw to what it is today, with all the garbage, heartache, and frustrations thrown at him from every direction in theprocess, one can only applaud Paul Strachan's superhuman persistence in creating what has to be a selection of some of the world's greatest travel experiences.

I couldn't let the opportunity pass to raise glasses to him. Everyone agreed noting that because I was the one with more Pandaw travel experience (6 voyages) than anyone on board and really the right person to lead the group in this way.

Douglas

May 2014

FROM DAVID & PAMELA BAINBRIDGE

Dear Mr. Strachan,

I have recently returned from a Jules Verne Angkor Wat and Mekong holiday. My wife and I were on your boat Mekong Pandaw from 15 to 22 March.

I wish to inform you that the time spent on the boat was absolutely brilliant. By any yardstick every aspect of the holiday and service ticked the excellant box. The  crew under Capt Nguy Nguc Thu were great providing an excellant service, effecient, helpful and always with a smile whether they were a seaman, cook or laundry girl. Cabins lovely, food great ,spotlessly clean and very relaxing when not on tour. Evening programmes of films and talks were spot on.

We particularly enjoyed the variety of activities on board and especially the twice daily visits to local schools, markets, villages, seeing local handicrafts,etc.Both interesting and educational and gave us a wonderful insight into life in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Of particular note I must mention  your local guide on the boat in Cambodia-Phalylao who had a marvellous relationship with the local people and children. and Neville Joseph who I believe was on his last tour is a marvel and warrants a 10 out of 10 for performance. You will have some task in replacing him, however we were delighted with his company and that of his lovely family. We do wish him well with his new project.

Thank you for a memorable holiday , you can be very proud of your boat and staff.

David & Pam Bainbridge
Crowthorne
Berks, UK

Dec 2013

MRS SU WARREN AND MR DAVID WARREN

Dear Emily,

Just a personal note of thanks for all your help and info supplied whenever I/we needed it during our many months of prep for the Pyay to Kalay Pandaw cruise in August this year.

Many people from all over the world on board too agreed with us that you are a wonderful person to deal with because you always come back with answers quickly and answer even the most complicated or unusual queries, incl. the details supplied when we took a private car to Prome to catch Pandaw Katha from there..

You were with Pandaw right back to when my husband and I did the amazing “into the heart of Borneo” trip and every time we take another Pandaw cruise you are still there to answer our questions and that is why I wanted to email you today (as I am sorting out many hundreds of photos :) to say “ Many thanks, it is always a real pleasure to deal with you” and if Laos ever takes off we will be the first to book with you again.

Best regards

Su & David Warren

Nov 2013

GRAHAM MCCRAE

Hello Paul,

Back in Aus after a really great trip to Burma and Singapore.

As far as Orient Pandaw and her crew are concerned - they were all terrific and very attentive. Cannot fault the service. The food was excellent and plentiful - most travellers vowing diets on return to Australia! You have done a great job to create such a loyal crew. Our tour guide for the 8 days was "Tom". He was excellent. Loved the ship and it really created the atmosphere of the old days on the Irrawaddy. The shore excursions were very well organised and they certainly kept us on the go. Must admit that I am not sure that I want to see another Pagoda for a while!

Myanmar has a lot of work to do on infrastructure. In general the cities seem to work Ok although the traffic in Rangoon was something else. Some of the riverside villages still do not have water pumped from the Irrawaddy. The rubbish alongside the roads and on the river banks was not pleasant to see - apparently no local administration to organise (and pay for) rubbish collection and disposal. But it does detract from the overall impression of Myanmar. Some thoughts for you:

The 6 hour bus trip from Rangoon to Prome to join the Orient Pandaw was excruciatingly long. Wouldn't it be lovely to have a flying boat from Rangoon harbour to the river at Prome!

As the river was quite low it was a bit off putting to see all the rubbish on the banks as we made our way to embark on Orient Pandaw. Would it be feasible to have this area cleaned up prior to embarkation?

Mandalay Airport. A huge structure where nothing works - they really have to do something about it. I doubt if an airline like Singapore Airlines would want to put Mandalay on their schedule with the state of the facilities there.

Whilst on the cruise, we were shown the film that you made entitled "The Forgotten Fleet" I would love to get a copy of this - can you let me know where that could be obtained?

We now have at the back of our minds that in the future a cruise from Mandalay to Bhamo at the end of the wet season (river full) say end August/early September sounds a good idea - perhaps in a couple of years or so.

Best wishes

Graham